These soft and fluffy cinnamon cupcakes are topped with a brown sugar cinnamon buttercream! These simple cupcakes take less than 30 minutes to prepare and are a cinnamon lovers dream.
This recipe was originally published in October 2021. It has since been updated with new images.
Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices to use in baking (just check out this cinnamon crunch banana bread), you can’t get any cozier than cinnamon!
Each cinnamon cupcake is topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar just before baking. These cinnamon swirl cupcakes are frosted with a super creamy cinnamon buttercream. Plus each cupcake has a cinnamon swirl running through it!
Tell me about this recipe!
- The cupcakes are based off of my recipe from my strawberry filled cupcakes. This simple recipe is made by creaming the butter with the sugar before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- The cupcake batter is layered with cinnamon sugar and then swirled together, giving you a cinnamon swirl in every bite!
- Each cupcake is sprinkled with some extra cinnamon sugar just before baking.
- The cinnamon brown sugar frosting is an American buttercream which is so simple to make. Butter is first creamed with brown sugar before the remaining ingredients are added.
- This cinnamon swirl cupcake recipe is super easy and uses simple ingredients that you probably already have at home.
- Sour Cream: I’ve used full fat sour cream for the cupcakes, but you can substitute it with full fat yogurt!
- Butter: I always use European style butter, like KerryGold, due to the higher butterfat content. This will make your cupcake much creamier and richer, and will make your frosting more creamy!
- Buttermilk: this is going to make the cupcakes extra moist!
- Flour: I’ve only tested this recipe with all purpose flour.
- Baking Powder: make sure your baking powder is still in date before using, or the cupcakes won’t rise!
How to make this recipe
Step 1: Whisk the cinnamon and sugar together and set aside.
Step 2: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and airy
Step 5: Add your eggs and vanilla extract, then add your sour cream. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything is properly mixed.
Step 5: Add in your dry ingredients and mix on low speed.
Step 5: With the mixer running, slowly pour in the buttermilk.
Step 6: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place 12 cupcake liners in your cupcake pan. Scoop one tablespoon into each liner, then sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Add another tablespoon of batter. Use a toothpick to swirl the cinnamon sugar and batter together, then sprinkle another teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Bake for 20-23 minutes.
Step 7: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and light brown sugar together on low speed. Add in your confectioners’ sugar a bit at a time, mixing on low.
Step 8: Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until it becomes thick. Stop the mixer and add the salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix again on medium for 2 minutes. Turn your mixer to your lowest speed and slowly pour in your heavy cream. Mix for another minute. Use a Wilton 4B tip to frost the cupcakes and then sprinkle over more cinnamon sugar.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Measuring ingredients – I recommend measuring out ingredients the metric way! Using a kitchen scale is the most accurate way to bake and it makes a huge difference to how the cupcakes turn out, you want them to be soft and fluffy and not dry. Just click on ‘metric’ in the recipe card.
- Measuring flour – if you aren’t going to use a scale then be sure to measure flour correctly! Oftentimes people will pack too much flour in their cups and it will lead to super dry cupcakes. Fluff up the flour in the bag with a fork or spoon, then spoon that flour into your cup.
- Filling up cupcakes cases – only fill them up about ¾ of the way, if you fill them to the top they might overflow while baking!
- Room temperature ingredients – if you’re baking these cinnamon cupcakes in winter, your butter might take longer than usual to soften up. Make sure your ingredients are room temperature before you start baking! This is important for the butter for the frosting as if it is too hard you won’t be able to cream it to be soft and fluffy, and it will be difficult to pipe frosting out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! In most American buttercream recipes you use confectioners’ sugar, but this recipe uses both confectioners’ sugar and light brown sugar.
Because this frosting uses light brown sugar as well as confectioners’ sugar, it does have slightly more texture than a more traditional American buttercream.
Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.
Sure! Swap out the brown sugar frosting for a cream cheese frosting to get that cinnamon roll flavor!
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Have you made this recipe? Make sure to tag me on Instagram @alpineella and leave a review below if you have! If you want more baking ideas, you can follow me on Pinterest.
Cinnamon Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream
- 1 x cupcake tray
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a 12-cup pan with cupcake liners. This recipe makes 13-14 cupcakes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. It should become light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract, then beat again on medium speed
- Add in the sour cream, beating on medium-low speed until well combined
- With the mixer running on your lowest speed, add the dry ingredients
- With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the buttermilk. Stop the mixer.
- Use an ice cream scooper to fill each cupcake liner with 1 tablespoon of batter. Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar, then another tablespoon of batter. Take a toothpick and swirl the batter together then sprinkle over another teaspoon of cinnamon sugar.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out clean with no crumbs. Let cool completely. Your cupcakes might have split at the top, almost like a muffin – this is ok!
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on low speed until well combined.
- Slowly start adding the confectioners’s sugar on your lowest speed
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for a 2 minutes until it becomes very thick.
- Stop the mixer and add the salt, vanilla, and cinnamon in to the bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for another 2 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to your lowest speed and pour in the heavy cream. Beat until it becomes very creamy and spreadable.
Just made these cupcakes and they were delicious! Be sure to cream your butter for a few minutes before adding any sugars – I beat my butter for about 5-8 minutes on medium high speed. I would recommend adding less sugar in the batter and frosting because of how much sugar is being added overall and will definitely use less next time, but these cupcakes were truly delightful. Would definitely make again!